Joventut rallies past Partizan
Joventut Badalona sent a message that echoed all around the 7DAYS EuroCup by downing Partizan NIS Belgrade 85-82 in Group A on Wednesday. Pau Ribas led the winners with 18 points, Nenad Dimitrijevic and Conor Morgan each added 14, while Vladimir Brozdiansky and Ante Tomic had 10 apiece for Joventut. Rashawn Thomas paced Partizan with 15 points and Nemanja Gordic and Ognjen Jaramaz each had 12 for the visitors. Partizan led 46-61 late in the third quarter before Dimitrijevic and Morgan fueled the hosts' comeback and Ribas's late heroics allowed Joventut to win the game.
Joventut opened the game with a 7-0 run in which Tomic had a layup and a dunk. Erik Mika downed a mid-range jumper, but Shawn Dawson and an unstoppable Tomic boosted the hosts' lead to 11-2. Stefan Jankovic and Thomas tried to change things for Partizan, but Ribas struck from downtown for a 14-7 score. Thomas got help from Gordic, whose three-point play got the visitors to 16-14. Morgan and Albert Ventura restored a 21-14 Joventut lead, which Gordic cut to 21-17 after 10 minutes with a buzzer-beating three-pointer. It ignited a 0-11 run in which Nikola Jankovic scored three times in the paint, causing Joventut to call timeout at 21-25. Dimitrijevic and Ribas each hit a three-pointer, but so did Codi Miller-McIntyre and Marcus Paige - twice - for a 28-35 score. Joventut found new go-to guys in Brodziansky and Dawson, but the hosts only managed to trade baskets now, as an outstanding Jaramaz kept Partizan way ahead, 40-48, at halftime.
Miller-McIntyre joined forces with Jaramaz and Uros Trifunovic to make it 42-55 soon after the break. Morgan followed a jumper with a layup, but he didn't find much help around. Meanwhile, Thomas and Gordic kept the visitors way ahead, 49-63. Dimitrijevic insisted from beyond the arc, but Partizan kept running its half-court offense through Gordic and an inspired Thomas to lead 61-71 after 30 minutes. Dimitrijevic kept carrying Joventut on his shoulders with back-to-back layups, then Brodziansky buried a triple that gave the hosts hope at 68-73. Partizan kept struggling until Thomas scored twice in the paint for a 72-77 score. Joventut did not panic, however, as a jumper by Ribas made it 79-80 with over 3 minutes left. Trifunovic and Tomic traded layups and Ribas completed Joventut's comeback, 83-82, with 42.3 seconds to go. Partizan had a final chance to win the game, but Ribas collected a key steal seconds before the final buzzer.
It was Ribas's first EuroCup game with Joventut since the 2008 championship game and he delivered in crunch time with the go-ahead free throws and a critical steal. He finished the game with 18 points on 4-of-4 two-point shooting, 6 assists, 1 rebound, 1 steal and 3 fouls drawn for a performance index rating of 20.
Partizan led 61-71 at the end of the third quarter before Dimitrijevic and Morgan stepped up for Joventut when it mattered most. Ribas made all the big plays in the end, hitting a jumper, feeding Tomic for a layup, downing the critical free throws and getting the steal down the stretch. It would have been possible if Joventut did not play with sp much energy early in the fourth quarter.
Joventut finished the game with 23 assists - Ferran Bassas and Ribas combined for 13. Partizan only had 11 assists and committed 14 turnovers. Joventut made just 11 turnovers. In other words, Joventut had 2.1 assists per turnover and Partizan just 0.8.
Did you know?
Joventut is now on a nine-game home-court winning streak in the EuroCup. Its last loss came against ALBA Berlin on March 9, 2010. Last season, Joventut returned to the EuroCup for the first time in a decade and won all eight of its home games.
Both teams return to the competition next week. Partizan hosts Umana Reyer Venice on Tuesday, October 6. A day later, Joventut visits JL Bourg-en-Bresse.
Wednesday, September 30, 2020